The Components of Research Computing
Partners Research Computing: A Key Component of our Hospitals' Research Mission
Research Computing is viewed as an essential asset to the Partners research community because of our dedication and strategic mission to work with and listen to the more than 15,000 investigators and research support staff. Today, everyone can rely on us for infrastructure, administrative, and research support.
Diane Keogh, Corporate Director, Partners Research Computing
Research Computing is organized into five departments: scientific services and technology (ERIS), genomics IT, specimen banking, RPDR, and research administrative systems.
Enterprise Research Infrastructure & Services (ERIS), directed by Brent G. Richter, is composed of three service-oriented teams who directly support and collaborate with researchers of all academic medical centers and Partners Healthcare.
ERIS provides services and technology to support specialized applications and processes, typical of research and translational missions, for basic, biomedical and clinical applications--from development to critical applications distributed worldwide. We provide HPC clusters, bioinformatics and analysis tools, survey/EDC tools, server hosting, cloud storage, and consultative and contracting assistance.
- The centralized systems and Services team focuses on scientific and technical computing, Research Services such as REDCap and Galaxy, massive storage services, data security, and project infrastructure and informatics needs. HPC, open-source systems and applications, and hosted services such as DIPR for cloud computing and databases, web hosting. Through the HPC facility, bioinformatics and scientific database services are available.
- Research Information Services & Technology (IS&T) at MGH, BWH, Spaulding and McLean. BWH (RICS), MGH, Spaulding and McLean Research IS&T Site Teams support the ERIS services & non-PHS standard devices including PC's, Linux, Mac lap-/desktops plus Apple iOS devices. All ERIS services and consults are delivered direct through these groups (Contact).
- The Research Core Facility is the fee-for-service and consulting/contracting division. Cloud Data services are provided through the facility--charged monthly on utilization. Internal contracting is available for IT integration, EDC/Survey from design, security configuration, management and reporting (FISMA requirements), and systems integrations/administration.
The ERIS team provides the interface for the research community to Partners IS. We provide advocacy and guidance on behalf of research to the many enterprise projects and consults that involve Partners Information Security, TSO, Network Engineering, Contracts, Security and other corporate departments. We help define, test and deliver services provided by IS that affect Research.
The Partners Healthcare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM) group of eight IT members work with Sandy Aronson to translate and integrate the science of genetics and genomics into medical practice. The wave of the future, “personalized medicine” – creating a genetic and genomic profile of a patient and using it to help in diagnosis and treatment – will require increasing amounts of genetic data that must be gathered, organized, and securely stored. PCPGM relies on ERIS to closely develop and support the infrastructure and informatics for this to happen.
The Partners Biorepository for Medical Discovery Team (PBMD) is developing the enterprise-wide systems to enable the collection, storage and distribution of specimens at Partners HealthCare. The team is driving the enhancements and integration of existing systems while developing new interfaces. The vision is to further scientific discovery by providing investigators with ready, easy access to biospecimens. The team is managed by Natalie Boutin with ERIS providing the infrastructure support.
The Research Enterprise Applications group is composed of 22 IS and contract staff working with manager Scott McNeal. Research could not exist without the administrative applications required to manage finance, grants, IRB's, developed and supported by RAG. Infrastructure services provided by Partners IS.
The Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) is supported by the dedicated team of nearly a dozen developers and support personnel. RPDR is the centralized clinical data registry/warehouse directed by Research Computing's Medical Director, Shawn Murphy, M.D. The RPDR gathers data from hospital systems and stores it in one place, bringing clinical information to a researcher’s fingertips and ensuring the security of patient information.
"Nearly one-third of Partners revenue comes from research – about a 1.4 billion dollars a year," said Keogh. "We remain an asset to driving research revenue and innovation. Public and private sponsors of research can see that because we have in place super-computing clusters, seamless administrative support and resources in training and support, there are fewer barriers with which researchers have to provide themselves, providing them with an edge in winning funding.”